Offline and Online Spaces of Southeast Asian Transnational Migration: Facebook, Mall, Museum and Art

Type

Double Panel

Part 1

Session 7
Thu 13:30–15:00 Room 1.506

Part 2

Session 8
Thu 15:30–17:00 Room 1.506

Conveners

Abstract

This panel highlights the dynamism of transnational migration and its impacts in Southeast Asia and the wider Asian region in two domains. The first one is Southeast Asian migrants’ construction of social spaces in the physical and online worlds. The second area is the responses of cultural institutions and art sphere to transnational migration.

As to the first area of focus, the panel explores the everyday practices of migrants from Southeast Asia in creating and negotiating social spaces in urban settings such as in malls, parks, religious areas, etc. Increasingly the social space of migration is no longer confined within the spatial domain of the territorial world. Scholars in the fields of sociology of network society and social media reiterate the power of information technology that creates ubiquitous unbound-territorial networks transcending locality at multiple scales (Graham and Simon, 2000; Castells 2006, 2013). The social fields of migrants’ transnational life simultaneously operate in the online and offline worlds. How can we better understand migrants’ constructions of social spaces in the online world in relation to the physical world?

In the offline world of Southeast Asia and the broader Asian region, cultural institutions and art sphere have increasingly responded to the conditions of ‘super-diversity' and high mobility. Museums and art exhibitions have become a contested space of interpreting everyday multiculturalism and transnational migration. This second focal point of the panel touches upon the scope of transnational mobility in the world of representation, global service economy and social inclusion.